What’s the right age to introduce a Girl to Gilmore?

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Teen pregnancy and an absentee father are odd starting places for a family network television show, but that’s where the Gilmore Girls story really starts. Lorelai’s accidental pregnancy at 16 was only openly criticized a couple of times – as asides by Mrs Kim and in that incident with the Stars Hollow’s Stepford moms.

Step-Moms

Stepford Mom 1: So, you’re preaching to our daughters that it’s okay to get pregnant at sixteen, am I getting that right?
Lorelai: No, not at all, I was just answering their questions.

Stepford Mom 1: Sounds like you just flaunted your mistakes.
Lorelai: Now, hold on. You have no right to judge me. All I said was that for my particular circumstances things worked out okay. I advocated nothing to them. You’re all acting like I walked into that room tossing condoms in the air.
Stepford Mom 2: You might as well have.
Lorelai: Fine, next time I will. I’ll bring a banana and we’ll have a little show and tell. How ‘bout that?
Stepford Mom 1: What kind of mother are you?
Lorelai: The kind that doesn’t gloss over things just because they’re a little uncomfortable.

And while it was criticised then, it was never, ever regretted. Rory was unconditionally loved.

Student 1: Well, are you sorry you got pregnant?
Lorelai: No, it brought me Rory, but timing is everything. I mean, I could’ve. . .sixteen, you guys are sixteen, right . . .and hey, is that clock right?
Student 2: What do you mean by timing?
Student 1: Yeah, if you had waited and had a baby with another man at a different time. . .
Student 3: It wouldn’t have been Rory, right?
Lorelai: Hey, you know what’s fun to talk about? Late checkout.

In the same way Mrs Doubtfire (rest in peace Robin Williams, you loveable maniac) cemented the notion of non-traditional yet fully functional families into social consciousness, Gilmore Girls continues to lessen the stigma around non-nuclear families – and it does this somewhat counterintuitively… by barely referencing it.

Instead, they focus on the present. We see foxy mom Lorelai bringing up the perfect daughter with standards, rocket-powered wit and bootcut jeans. She has created her own home and built her own life around her own dreams. I heard someone discussing Stevie Nicks on the radio, saying she’d coccooned herself with like-minded people, creating a safe environment where she could be herself and create, without fear. I think Stars Hollow was that safe nest for Lorelai, to be able to create her life and the life she wanted for Rory. How they got there didn’t matter.

dynamite

Mass media and popular culture seem to be nudging kids to grow up earlier, becoming sexualised and sex-aware earlier. Like the internet and progress, you can’t put this stuff back in a box. It just is – or maybe it’s always been like this. Either way, it doesn’t mean a mother can’t still try to pass on life lessons…

Lorelai: Does he have a motorcycle? ‘Cause if you’re gonna throw your life away, he better have a motorcycle!

… but whether a daughter is actually going to listen or not, well… that’s a whole other can of beans.

How do you feel Gilmore Girls handled the subject of teen pregnancy?
Given the range of media already out there – from Miley Cyrus to Judy Blume – do you think there’s a ‘right’ age for girls to be introduced to Lorelai’s world?
Do you think Lorelai and Rory’s relationships with guys were good or bad examples of real-world options and behaviour?

Pics c/o TheWB

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Rich

Rich originally began contributing to GIlmore News as 'Dairyman' in 2013, a reference to the character Dairyman Dick in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, (call me Rich). Here in the UK we were late to the Gilmore party and I don't remember what made me watch my first episode - the one where Lorelai picks Rory up from the police station after she and Logan steal a yacht - but I remember watching it again immediately. And then again. Thankfully, the next show was on the next day and I watched that one three times too. And then the boat one again. I couldn't believe the dialogue was so quick and so funny and I pretended to myself that I was only watching it so I could figure out who I was more keen on - the mom or the daughter. I swore that Aaron Sorkin must have been involved but I couldn't find his name attached anywhere, even on the internet. So I watched and loved and laughed and cried and the day after the series finale, they ran the entire show from the beginning again and Rory turned into a baby so then I was all about Lorelai. Lauren Graham is astonishing ("Mother: Breathtaking") and the show was - and is - lightning in a bottle. It's a treasure for those who watch and get swept up in it, like I did and like the readers of Gilmore News. It's heartbreak and chicken soup, family dysfunction and blind optimism, lighthearted romanticism and balls-out brilliant. Thanks to Arieanna and gilmorenews.com for letting me squat and allowing my inner Gilmore Geek out for air. I worry how it would otherwise manifest.

5 thoughts on “What’s the right age to introduce a Girl to Gilmore?

  • October 8, 2014 at 4:50 am
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    HAPPY BIRTHDAY RORY !
    30 YEARS OLD
    OCT 8, 1984 @ 4:03 AM

    WHERE DID THE TIME GO?

    Reply
    • October 8, 2014 at 11:11 am
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      That’s… Pretty terrifying :)

      Reply
  • October 9, 2014 at 4:12 am
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    Oh my god, 30 years….this is….wow……can’t believe :D

    Reply
  • October 10, 2014 at 12:40 pm
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    You know the great thing about Stars Hollow? It’s like Never Never Land, no one grows old, nothing ever changes and Rory is still a teen running around town with Lane, Miss Patty never retires, and Luke will always be serving the best burgers and coffee around.

    But as to your question of the right age, at the risk of sounding clichéI think it depends on the kid. Some can handle it and understand the nuances of the show (ie realizing Lorelai has never “advocated” teen pregnancy and actually wants “better” or maybe more(?) for Rory). I don’t think the show made it seem like having a kid at such a young age would make girls think it is “cool” or fun or whatever, they poured out numerous times the hardships that their little two person family had to go through get where they are today. I’m rambling but you get the point. Long week.

    Reply
  • December 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm
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    I never had a family, so I guessed I loved more the fictional Rory character as I love the real Rory that may face this situation for that reason. So, noticing critics about the way the show started, or why Lorelai did it never occurred to me, for, really she’s simply an ideal mother. Strong enough when needing it, and cool when the need of discipline doesn’t prevail. And Rory doesn’t complain either. Well educated, she can face any situation with strong will and courage. Which is the mark of being brought up correctly :)
    In other words, Lorelai is natural, and she knows how to preserve that characteristic in Rory!

    Reply

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